BANGOR — Bleary-eyed family and friends are expected to gather at 3:30 a.m. on New Year’s Day at Bangor International Airport to welcome home 130 members of Charlie Company of the 126th Aviation Regiment.
The Maine Army National Guard medevac unit, known as the “Black Bears,” has been deployed for nine months in Iraq, where its members flew more than 3,000 hours and helped evacuate 670 patients. The unit also was deployed to Iraq in 2003 (it was known then as the 112th Medical Company), and was the first Maine Army Guard unit to enter the country.
According to information provided by the guard on Wednesday, the unit will arrive on a commercial flight from Fort Carson, Colo., sometime after 3 a.m. A “Heroes Welcome” ceremony will be held shortly after at the Army Aviation Support Facility on Hayes Street.
Gov. John Baldacci is among the guests who plan to greet the troops.